Psalm 93 - Robed in majesty
|The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.
He has established the world; it shall never be moved;
your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.
The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring.
More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters,
more majestic than the waves of the sea, majestic on high is the Lord!
Your decrees are very sure; holiness befits your house, O Lord, forevermore.
Psalm 93 (NRSV)
Ascension of the Lord, Years A, B, and C
Christ the King, Year B
Majesty is not part of our ordinary experience. Few of us spend time in royal courts. If we are fortunate, we may know "regal people," those who carry themselves with dignity, confidence, and humility, who walk through life self-aware (and not self-deluded) of their worth as a human being.
Sadly, too many thrones are occupied by rulers who wear clothes that are less than majestic. They may be expensive and luxurious. But if God is not the fashion designer, they are the emperor's new clothes, a pretense at majesty. If the clothes are not woven with justice, the most comfortable silk robe is a straightjacket. If the fabric is not spun from mercy, faithfulness, and unbreakable, untearable, unburnable, incorruptible love, you are wearing tattered rags, no matter how fine they might look.
The Lord is king. The Lord is robed in majesty. The Lord who established the world, who commands the mighty waters. Take anything there is on earth: more majestic.
The old scholars of religion spoke of the mysterium tremendens, the holy awe or terror experienced when faced with the divine, whether in nature, an encounter with an angel, a dream or vision, or by proximity to holy places or things.
Despite any illusions of grandeur, we are not born to the kind of majesty that is from everlasting.
And yet... the Lord's decrees are very sure.
As we contemplate and praise God's majesty, we might remember God's gracious care for us. Remember the majestic invitation to enter the Lord's house with thanksgiving. And remember, that, while eternal holiness is the very nature of God, befitting the Lord's house, God has decreed, commanded, invited us into that holiness. ("Be holy, for I, the Lord God am holy." Leviticus 11, 19, 20, 21)
"Majesty!" we say to our king, in awe at God's power, not just to command thunder and waves, but to make holy.
ASprigOfFig, Photograph of Majesty of Law statue, Rayburn Building, House Office Building, Washington D.C. Scupted by Carl Paul Jennewein, 1964. Public domain.